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The Savage Garden by Mark Mills

The Savage Garden (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Mark Mills

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1,142617,160 (3.42)83
Title:The Savage Garden
Authors:Mark Mills
Info:Putnam Adult (2007), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:Crime Fiction 2007

Work details

The Savage Garden by Mark Mills (2007)

  1. 00
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: In each of these atmospheric novels tinged with all the best aspects of gothic novels -- old estates, family secrets, suspicious deaths -- a garden holds the answers the protagonists seek.

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3.5 stars - This was a great idea for a story, but the execution was lacking. Young English scholar Adam Strickland goes to Tuscany to write a thesis about the garden of the Docci family. He stumbles across two murders, one 400 years ago when the garden was designed, another more recent. I failed to see the connection between the two events, and I would have loved to explore the 16th century storyline a lot more. I liked the descriptions of the garden, the plot was intriguing and most of the characters were interesting and easy to imagine. Some knowledge of Dante's Divine Comedy and the myths and ledgends of Ancient Rome and Greece would be an advantage, it certainly added to my enjoyment. Unfortunately, sometimes the storyline seemed to go round in circles and there were some unnecessary hints and developments that never went anywhere. Overall, it was a good story, but could have been presented a lot better. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
Great book! The story was interesting and near the end when I thought I knew what had happened there was a great twist. ( )
  i.should.b.reading | Jan 15, 2016 |
I wouldn't wish this insipid, trite, anachronistic book on my worst enemy. It's trying to be the more literary alternative to Dan Brown, but, sadly, it just comes off as sub-Dan Brown. There's really no connection between the two mysteries, and for the amount of time spent describing the garden, the solution doesn't give much payoff. The writing is painfully effortful, and the sex scenes are almost embarrassing in their clumsiness. For a supposedly perceptive young man, the protagonist comes off as a totally credulous moron and, to be honest, kind of a jerk. But the greater sin is that this novel is just excruciatingly boring. There are digressions into all kinds of irrelevant subjects (and this is a short book!), but without the spark to make them interesting, they just bog the novel down. Disappointing. ( )
  sansmerci | Aug 13, 2015 |
This had the potential to be a good gothic mystery. It's set in Italy, lots of art work and literature references. Unfortunately, while it was mildly entertaining, it was not very well written. ( )
  Marzia22 | Apr 3, 2013 |
Adam Strickland isa Cambridge scholar who has taken a slightly lazy approach to his studies. His professor suggests a trip to Italy to study a famous garden. The professor believes that this will pique Adam's interest.

Naturally, there is a secret in this garden, a cipher, and Adam also believes there is a secret to be discovered in the villa itself. His natural instinct or maybe nosiness in disguise soon leads him to some startling conclusions about both the recent and the centuries ago past.

I don't know if it could be called brashness or arrogance when he begins to delve into the personal lives of the occupants of the Villa Docci. He is definitely has no problems with blurting out his suspicions. As one person told him ' You have been here hardly a week! What business is it of yours?'

He certainly takes liberties as he toys with the rules of the house and the emotions of it's inhabitants.

Aside from that as he digs into the meaning of the statuary in the garden he has to use all his classical knowledge to piece together this enigma. The reader is educated as well as they are reminded of ancient myths and allegories. I am also tempted to read the book Adam was reading which was Dorothy Sayers' translation of Dante's epic poem The Inferno. ( )
  Condorena | Apr 2, 2013 |
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We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425221296, Paperback)

Young Cambridge scholar Adam Banting is in Tuscany, assigned to write a scholarly monograph about the famous Docci garden?a mysterious world of statues, grottoes, meandering rills, and classical inscriptions. As his research deepens, Adam comes to suspect that buried in the garden?s strange iconography is the key to uncovering a long-ago murder. But the ancient house holds its own secrets as well. And as Adam delves into his subject, he begins to suspect that he is being used to discover the true meaning of the villa?s murderous past.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:22 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Set in Italy in 1958, 'The Savage Garden' is the story of two unsolved murders - one committed in the late Renaissance, the other in 1944, during the dying days of the German army's occupation.

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